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SCHIP Reauthorization: How Will Low-Income Kids Benefit Under House and Senate Bills?

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Author(s): G. Kenney; A. Cook; J. Pelletier

Topic: Health (Health services for children)

Type: Report


As the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) reauthorization is being debated, it is important to evaluate how well the proposed bills serve low-income children. Some have criticized the bills, arguing that they benefit families with incomes four times the federal poverty level (FPL). However, no analysis has been done assessing the incomes of families that might benefit from the bills.

This policy brief discusses findings from empirical work examining the likely income distribution of children who would gain and/or retain health insurance coverage through the proposed Senate and House SCHIP bills. The findings indicate that approximately 70 percent or more of the children who would benefit under both bills reside in families with incomes below 200 percent of the FPL, that many are below the FPL, and that very few would have incomes above 300 percent of the FPL.